Wednesday, December 31, 2014

To You And Yours

As we say farewell to the old & welcome the new  
May your memories be sweet 
And your hopes for the future be bright.

Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 15, 2014


A few shop windows from last summer in France to wish you a 

bon fete de Noël

....& happy last minuet shopping !

May visions of sugar plums dance through your heads

 & may all your dreams be merry & bright!

 If your rêves are of France also enjoy Paulita's 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Farewell to Our Century Plant

I have taken many photos of my neighbor's plant since moving to Charleston. It is, or I should say, was an Agave Americana. Often called a Century Plant, the Agave Americana can take up to 100 years to mature, although it usually takes far less. It blooms only once in its life span after which it dies.

 I have been amazed & fascinated by this plant & as you can see it has been a favorite of my grandchildren as well. Our neighbors told us the plant was over 50 years old but no one seemed to know for sure just how much older than 50 it was. 

I took the blurry photo below from my window last winter during the freezing ice storm we had. Somehow this hot weather succulent, which normally are found in Florida, Mexico & South America, survived that bitter cold snap.

Then last spring I noticed a giant asparagus like stalk shooting up from the plant. Yes, the 
fifty-ish year old plant was preparing to bloom.

It took most of the summer & fall for the stalk to mature & actually flower. The Agave Americana produces one of the largest inflorescences in the entire  plant kingdom. Stalks can grow as high as 25 feet & can produce thousands of tiny yellow flowers.

I am not certain exactly how tall "our" Century flower grew but it was clearly taller than the three story houses surrounding it. And sadly just as predicted, the majestic old plant collapsed & died after its profusion of tiny blossoms fully opened.

I feel sad each time I walk by the now empty spot where the Century Plant once grew. I miss it. Yet I feel extremely fortunate to have witnessed this amazing & rare feat of nature.

They say that sometimes, but not always, a new plant will appear where the old one had been. So far there is no sign of one but I will keep watching & hoping.

It is wonderful to imagine that  perhaps in another 50 years  my grandchildren's children might fall in love with another giant Century Plant just as they had done.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Images of France ...

...that invoke the holiday spirit...

Although I am not in France during the winter months, I do find, as I look through my photos, that certain images remind me of this season. In a simple peaceful sort of way that is.  The silvery color & shape of an olive tree....

...or this sculptural relief, with what seems to be tiny pine trees growing out of the top, invoke this spirit for me.

There is just something about the shapes & patterns...

...& the greens of course that say something to me about this season.

So in the spirit of the coming holidays I am connecting to Paulita's
where you can see what other French dreamers & holiday star gazers have on their mind. 

Wishing each of you a happy & peaceful holiday season!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Studio

What is this you might ask? Well, it is the beginning of my new studio.

Yes, the foundation has been dug in the yard just behind the house.

Yesterday the number 10 candy-striped cement mixer came 

to pour the footings.

And now you can see the outline of my future backyard atelier.
How very, very exciting!

Today the blocks for the foundation have arrived. So it looks like everyday will bring some new element to this very exciting work in progress.

Happy week-end all!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


...from one holiday to the next always seems to move way too quickly for me. We took some lovely walks this past weekend with our out of town guests & saw a lot of  contrasting colors.

Although this pretty holly & the funny snowball of a plant below do look awfully Christmasy & I know there are quite a few people out there who are already decorating & getting ready for the next big holiday, 
 I am just not ready.

Maybe it is because in Charleston the leaves have only just started to turn into beautiful bright fall colors.

The golden Gingko tree above & the red Maple below are at their peek right now.

So it is hard for me not to want to fill my pockets with pretty autumn leaves to take home & enjoy.

I  still want to linger just a while longer in the glory of fall & thanksgiving.

But last weekends holiday flowers are starting to fade....

...while last years Christmas cactus is almost in full bloom.

So I guess I had better get with it & transition into the next holiday season right along with everyone else.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sunflowers & Gratitude

I couldn't help but noticed that many of the holiday bouquets have sunflowers in them this  year, which of course reminds me of France.
The yellow fields of sunflowers are what I dream of most when I think of my summers in Southwest France.

My son is here now for Thanksgiving & I couldn't be happier. I am smiling like the bright faces of these sunny blossoms.

I would like to wish all of my American friends a very happy Thanksgiving.

May it be filled with loved ones & beautiful sunny bouquets !

Happy wishes too to everyone Dreaming of France because especially at this time of year, I feel so much gratitude for all of my beautiful memories.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Drive In the Country

....around this neck of the woods can turn up some pretty interesting sights. 

You really never know what you might find.

 I enjoyed seeing this old barn with its collection of old signs

 ....and old cars.

I loved this house with the neat row of chairs on the front porch well, as this old silo & gas pump.

Of course there are the grassy marshlands & stately snowy egrets to see...

And there are plenty of pretty country lanes to meander down too.

Yes, taking a drive in the country in the south can be a very pleasant afternoon adventure.